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Thanks for the memories: An open thank you note to the Class of 2018

Class of 2018 West Lafayette MD students giving an exam

West Lafayette MD students showing high school students how to give an exam

Class of 2018, before you read this thank you note: You can continue paving the way for your colleagues by completing the Medical School Graduation Questionnaire (GQ), sent by the American Association for Medical Colleges. The GQ opened Feb. 14 and can be completed through the first week of June.

Data collected from the GQ provide valuable insights and help the school plan for future enhancements. Plus, there’s a chance to win incentives such as money toward class expenses, gift cards and an Apple Watch! Learn more about GQ.

Thanks for the Memories: An Open Thank You Note to the Class of 2018 from IU School of Medicine

Class of 2018,

Before you walk across the stage on May 12 to receive your diploma, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing things you’ve made possible during the past four years. We asked some of your peers to share their fondest memories and proudest accomplishments from their time at IU School of Medicine.

“Our class really focused on paying it forward. We worked to improve not only our experience, but left a lasting impact for future IUSM students.” – Ronit Patnaik, Class of 2018

Connection Days

“We were the first class to have Connections Days. It’s awesome to be a part of a curriculum change that was created by students, for students. It’s great that the school stands behind the importance of our wellness during the clinical years.” –  Savannah Enders Kimball, Class of 2018

Class of 2018 study session

Class of 2018 study session

Developed by your class and the classes before you, the Connection Day program promotes time for student self-care and reflection, while providing opportunities to network with peers from around the state.

Survey results show that nearly 78 percent of eligible students participate in the program, and of those students, 100 percent indicated that they would return to the next session. Two-thirds of respondents also believed that the program allowed for ample time to tend to personal needs.

Mentoring and Advising

“Having a lead advisor is like having a personal advocate who is always willing to step up and make sure that you have what you need to succeed.” – Jeremy Sherer, Class of 2018

West Lafayette MD Wellness Sign

West Lafayette MD student wellness sign

Your feedback led to the expansion of advising services and the development of the Mentoring and Advising Program (MAP). Today, all students receive support through regular appointments with lead advisors and physician mentors. The advising team delivers personalized guidance, career development, wellness resources and connection opportunities at each of the school’s nine campuses.

Mental Health Services

“Dr. Hasan and the team guided me through a very tough time in my personal life. I was lucky enough to not fall back academically, cope with my major depressive disorder and get well before the start of residency.” – Anonymous, Class of 2018

Medically Speaking board

Medically Speaking board

You helped us develop a more comprehensive set of wellness resources for students at all nine campuses.

The school has recently expanded the Mental Health Services team, increasing the programs and number of professionals dedicated to the quality and accessibility of mental health. All students have access to psychiatric care, crisis support, personal counseling and treatment, and wellness and family programming. The Class of 2018 is also responsible for the launch of the new Peace and Reflection Room on the Indianapolis campus. On top of that, there’s access to fitness centers, and artwork and updated furniture in recreation and study areas.

Learning Environment

West Lafayette MD students giving an exam

West Lafayette MD students showing high school students how to give a physical exam

“I think medicine in general is publicizing physician and medical student wellness more, because of how important it is. So I am glad IUSM is focusing on making changes in this direction as well.” – Melanie Wiseman, Class of 2018

Your feedback drove enhancements to the school’s learning environment. The school opened the Ombuds Office in November 2016 to address issues of concern, provide guidance, offer support and foster inclusivity. IU School of Medicine has also revised its process and policy for mistreatment, which is monitored in real time with rapid response and turnaround times.

Additional resources aimed at fostering a supportive learning environment – such as a training module, a dedicated web page, an Exemplars of Professionalism Honor Roll and the Teacher-Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC) – help the school foster a professional, safe and welcoming environment for all.

And that’s not all, Class of 2018.

Class of 2018 Rock Climbing

Class of 2018 rock climbing

  • In West Lafayette, you were the first class to use new space at Lyle-Porter Hall on Purdue’s campus – breaking in the facilities and setting precedent for its successors.
  • In Indianapolis, you created and now use the Medically Speaking Board to exchange news, advice, thoughts and insights with fellow trainees.
  • In Fort Wayne, you helped develop a Med Expo project that promotes togetherness and teaches local underrepresented youth to explore careers in medicine and health care.
  • In Evansville, you’ve been a part of the Southwestern Indiana Graduate Medical Education Consortium, which develops new opportunities for students to receive world-class undergraduate and graduate medical education near the communities they are from or may ultimately serve.
  • You’ve also laid the groundwork for great new initiatives that have shaped the classes that follow you: pass/fail grading, Specialty Interest Groups (SIGs) and expanded Sub-I options.

Thank you again for everything you’ve done, Class of 2018!

-IU School of Medicine Medical Student Education

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.